America's Got Talent Confirms Simon Cowell For Season 16 With New Video

simon cowell americas got talent season 15 nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

The most recent season of America's Got Talent ran into some significant obstacles before making history with champion Brandon Leake, with production significantly changing due to the pandemic and judge Simon Cowell breaking his back. Cowell was facing a long recovery back when he first injured his back in August 2020, and AGT had to use a series of guest hosts to finish out Season 15. Cowell's career since raised the question of his future at the NBC show. Now, AGT fans can stop wondering, as a new video confirms Cowell returning for Season 16.

Host Terry Crews hit Twitter to drop some big news on America's Got Talent fans who have been waiting for updates on the upcoming 16th season of the talent competition show. He confirmed that not only will Simon Cowell return, but also Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Season 15 newcomer Sofia Vergara. The judges and host came together for a video (filmed with social distancing in effect) to hype auditions, and Cowell seems to be doing pretty well! Take a look:

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Not only is Simon Cowell all set to return for America's Got Talent Season 16, but he's back in a deep V-neck t-shirt to guarantee that he looks like he would under normal circumstances, grainy video aside. In fact, all the judges seem to be dressed like they're more or less ready to hit the stage with their usual looks. Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara are dressed up (at least enough for what shows in the video), while Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell seem to be more casual and comfortable.

On the whole, the return of Simon Cowell means that AGT could feel about as back to normal as possible under pandemic protocols, which have altered the audition process, as the judges and Terry Crews noted in the video. Even if Season 15 settled into a groove with guest judges and then just the three judges in the weeks after Cowell had to take time off to recover, he's an iconic part of the show, and one relative constant on a show that has added and replaced other judges over the past several years.

There was some question of whether Simon Cowell would be able to do it, though, given that the expected season of Britain's Got Talent with Cowell on board over in the U.K. isn't happening after all, and the first show he signed on for after his back injury was The X Factor Israel, which is likely a much less intense production than the gargantuan America's Got Talent on NBC.

The opportunity to perform for Simon Cowell and the rest of the judges on AGT Season 16 isn't over just yet, as they said in the video. The Last Chance Virtual Open Call on March 6 means there's still time, if not a whole lot. You can find more information here, and expect America's Got Talent to return to NBC with Season 16 later this year.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).